⛓ Two Miles From Facebook's Headquarters, Working Poor Live In Trailers: „Surrounded by the wealth fed by tech titans like Google and Facebook, a small community of blue collar RV dwellers is fighting for the only place they can call home.“
📚 Howard P. Lovecraft collection: „A collection of correspondence to and from Providence-based speculative fiction author, Howard P. Lovecraft. Also contained are many of his original manuscripts.“
💻 Technorealism, Alvin Toffler, and the Forgotten Third Wave: „There's a reason why, in the last ten years, there's been a massive resurgence in the adoption of jettisoned militant mass ideologies of the twentieth century across the board and not just within the alt-right. The death of industrial society has arrived on time, just as people like Alvin Toffler and the Technorealists predicted twenty-five years ago. Toffler's Third Wave has landed, with all the implications that they predicted occurring.“
👽 What War of the Worlds did: „The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today“.
Do you believe that people’s eyes emit an invisible beam of force? According to a rather fun paper in PNAS, you probably do, on some level, believe that. The paper is called Implicit model of other people’s visual attention as an invisible, force-carrying beam projecting from the eyes.
To show that people unconsciously believe in eye-beams, psychologists Arvid Guterstam et al. had 157 MTurk volunteers perform a computer task in which they had to judge the angle at which paper tubes would lose balance and tip over. At one side of the screen, a man was shown staring at the tube.
The key result was that volunteers rated the tube more likely to tip over if it was tilted in the direction away from the man gazing at it – as if the man’s eyes were pushing the tube away. The effect was small, with a difference in the estimated tip-angle of just 0.67 degrees between tipping-away and tipping-towards the man, but it was significant (p=0.006). No such effect was seen if the man was blindfolded, suggesting that his eyes had to be visible in order for the sense of force to be felt.
💤 The Art of Boredom: „Rather than an individual experience, boredom can be a philosophical key to understanding modern life“.
The English word ‘boredom’, the French ‘ennui’, and the German ‘Langeweile’ are hardly synonyms – the first possibly deriving from the activity of boring wood, the next having to do with a feeling of annoyance, the last, which means ‘long while’, referring to the slow passing of time. Then again, if we think someone is boring they will probably be annoying, and time spent with them will feel unpleasantly long, so the terms make related sense. The relationship to the world involved in each term is evidently negative. ‘Langeweile’ implies, for example, that the meaningfulness of time, which is structured by desires, intentions, hope, anticipation, etc., has been reduced to a sense of time as empty because it lacks these projective qualities. However, boredom may not be thought of as simply negative. Nietzsche, for example, contends that boredom has a dialectical counterpart: ‘For the thinker and for all inventive spirits boredom is that unpleasant “doldrums” of the soul which precedes the happy journey and merry winds; he has to bear it, has to wait for its effect on him’. Boredom can, therefore, be seen as necessary to the generation of new meaning.
Even if the realm of culture and critique is a mere sandbox, in which the hater can play and grow before moving into the harsh concrete jungle of realpolitik, it is a necessary one. The aesthetic dimension is the space, the abstracted realm, in which one learns how to consider, how to admire, how to disagree and undermine, how to think for oneself.
This spirit of dissensus, rejection, agonism (as distinguished from mere antagonism), and contrarianism is energizing. It is the daft and ultimately affirmative spirit of optimism expressed through ruthless criticism and through acts of ostensible negation. It is the refusal to accept things as they are.
Excerpted from Hater: On the Virtues of Utter Disagreeability by John Semley.
Dropping “fuck” into your argument doesn’t strengthen your point. It blunts it. It reveals you not as a badass but a lazy ass. And before you tell me that 2018 sucked so fucking much that there’s no choice but to let the fucks fly, consider what would happen if we admitted this year just plain sucked. Consider what would happen if we literally gave no fucks about the current situation and let the whole mess speak for itself in plain language. Consider what would happen if we could no longer wrap ourselves in the warm linguistic blanket of fuck and had to face the world in boring, G-rated terms.
Feels pretty cold out there, doesn’t it? Well, guess what? It is.